Tuesday, November 16, 2010

  • Tuesday, November 16, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
In June, JoeSettler of the Muqata blog noticed that USAID was paving some roads in the West Bank for Palestinian Arabs:
Sometimes there are unintended consequences to one's actions. For instance, let's takeUSAID as an example.

Now their projects are apparently solely dedicated and intended for the benefit of Arabs only, within the Land of Israel. But sometimes, it just doesn't work out that way. For instance, USAID is investing in road building in Judea. Many of the roads are Jew-free roads, but not always.

Here's one example from a sign of theirs that says, "This project is a gift from the American People to the Palestinian People...".

What I think that USAID overlooked is that Jews also use this road regularly. It's a pleasant drive from the Gush directly to Malcha (and the Bibilical Zoo), not the mention Har Gilo to the Gush.

It would have been nice if they could have added a line in Hebrew and mentioned that it's a gift for us Jews too. After all, many Jewish-owned cars use that road every single day.

Anyway, even though USAID didn't mean to fix the road for the benefit of us Jews, we thank you for building a road that Settlers use all the time.
To any normal human being, a win-win situation is the best possible outcome. Obviously USAID is averse to spending money to help Jews specifically in the West Bank, but just like Arabs use and appreciate the supposed "settler-only apartheid" roads that ignorant Israel haters like to pretend criss-cross the area, Jews can use these new roads that were not intended for them.

Arabs, on the other hand, have tended to reject win-win solutions. To the Arab mind in general, when dealing with Israel, honor demands that Israel lose, even if Arabs lose as well. That was the logic of the historic rejectionism of a Palestinian Arab state from the 1930s to today, that was the logic behind the second intifada.

Normal liberals, and especially liberal Jews, tend to be the ones who desire a win-win more than anyone else. They are the ones who work hardest to find the best solution to an intractable problem with the maximum of benefit for the minimum of pain. In a normal world, this is sensible to the point of being obvious.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a normal world.

My Right Word notices that Akiva Eldar, one of Ha'aretz' columnists who most reliably insults his own country, found out about the paved roads that JoeSettler thanks USAID for. And to him, if a single settler is happy, that is unacceptable:

Travelers along the "original" West Bank roads, the ones enabling drivers to bypass Palestinian villages, can see signs declaring "USAID from the American People."

The roads are one of the initiatives of the United States Agency for International Development for building infrastructure in underdeveloped countries. Israel has already proudly left the club of developing countries and is not among the clients of USAID. Nevertheless, it appears the Smith family of Illinois is making the occupation a little less expensive for the Cohen family of Petah Tikva.

According to a June 2010 fact sheet on the USAID Internet site, last year American taxpayers funded the paving of 63 kilometers of asphalt roads in the West Bank. It also says completion of a road in the southern part of the West Bank dramatically increased the amount of trade between Dahriya and Beer Sheva.

What the site doesn't say is that a significant segment of the road goes through Area C - the 60 percent of the West Bank under exclusive Israeli civilian and military control....

This is not the only occupation-perpetuating road funded by American money. Dror Etkes, an expert on the settlements, noticed a few days ago USAID workers energetically laying asphalt on two roads in the Samaria region (northern West Bank ) that crosses Area C. Israelis haven't been traveling these roads for years now because the taxpayer (in this case, the Israeli taxpayer ) has already paved separate, wide, modern roads for them.
One of the main complaints that Palestinian Arabs have had was that they could not easily travel between their towns, because of Israeli checkpoints. The newly paved roads help them immensely, and there is no choice but to have them go through Area C. To Eldar, however, the fact that the roads also help some Jews is completely unacceptable, and somehow they help the "occupation."

His bizarre logic is that if the State of Israel intends to keep the West Bank - a policy that doesn't seem to have ever existed, as it has yet to be annexed in the past 43 years - then Israel should pay for the roads, and Americans should be upset that their money is helping Palestinian Arabs in portions of an area that they want for their state. Eldar would rather not have any roads there at all, or perhaps have Israel's taxpayers give them as a gift to "Palestine".

The reason that "Israelis haven't been traveling those roads for years" is because there was a very good chance that they would get shot and killed. That's why the other roads were built to begin with. To Eldar, that is also unacceptable, of course. Perhaps he can suggest a third intifada to ensure that Jews and Arabs remain as separate as possible, and he wouldn't have to stomach terrible scenes like the two groups shopping together. 

The only way to look at ramblings like this is to realize that the amount of self-degradation is so deep that people like Eldar have bought into the Arab mindset that what helps a Jew - even accidentally - is by definition bad for Arabs and therefore inherently evil.

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